A female breast contains between 25 and 24 lobules, each with its own mammary duct. A duct begins at the nipple and divides into numerous other ducts. Which end in blind sacs known as the alveoli.
The hormone prolactin causes the production of milk in the breast. Lactation does not occur during pregnancy because prolactin is suppressed by the production of estrogen and progesterone. The breast produces a watery yellowish substance called colostrum, which is similar to milk in composition, but contains more protein and less fat. Colostrum which eventually turns to milk, is rich in antibodies that provides a degree of immunity to a newborn. At times the mammary ducts , gets full. If milk is not expressed from the breast this can cause Mastitis, where the breast becomes inflamed.
Breast Cancer is the most prevalent cancer in females. From the age of 20 women should check there breast regularly for lumps, this should be done at the same time every month. If a lump is detected you should have mammogram (X-Ray photograph) done.
How to exam your breast
Begin by looking at your breast the mirror with your shoulders straight and your arms on you hips.
- Changes in the shape, size and appearance of your breast.
- Dimpling rash or puckering of the skin or nipple
- Redness, sores, discharge, any change from normal.
- Now raise your hands over your head with palms pressed together and look for the same changes in step 1.
- Lie down on your back with a pillow under your right shoulders to examine your right breast.
- Place a pillow under your left shoulder to examine your left breast.
- Use your left hand to examine your right breast and your right hand to examine your left breast.
- Use a firm, smooth touch with the middle fingers of your hands, keeping your fingers flat and together. Use a circular motion.
- Feel for changes in the breast from above and below the collarbones.
- Feel for changes in your armpit.
- Squeeze your nipples as your looking for any unusual discharge or lumps.
- Repeat step 2 whilst bathing or showering using soapy hands.
Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer
- Lump – May not be seen but can be felt.
- Skin texture – dimpling or puckering
- Appearance – direction of the nipple
- Nipple discharge
- Rash or crusting
How to reduce Breast Cancer
- Do your breast self examination.
- Ask your doctor.
- Breastfeeding is highly advised as this reduces the risk of developing breast cancer.
- Exercising is known to burn away any form of cancer causing cell. Doing more breaststroke at you swimming sessions might be more helpful that you think. It is critical to maintain a healthy weight.
- Avoiding cancer causing chemicals found in some deodorant. It is believe the certain chemical such a parabens are lodge directly in the breast because of the close proximity of the armpits to the breast; these chemicals are not easily excreted from the body. Replace with natural deodorants such as essential oil, baking soda of lemon/lime solutions. Eating less animal food, specifically eggs and frankfurters will reduce cancer and greatly improve body odor.
- Eating less meat, especially chicken (breast and legs) which are injected frequently with cancer causing hormones. Substitute with vegetable and fruits , and more importantly a healthier diet.
- No smoking and reduce or better yet eliminate alcohol.
- Avoid injuries to the breast, even the simplest hit on breast might cause a cell to become defected and eventually lead to Cancer.
- If you are 40 and older, ask your doctor for a screening mammography.